The observer cannot be observed

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Dimebag
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:12 am

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

Belinda wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:24 am Dimebag wrote:
Have you ever noticed, that your wife tells you, “you are a different person around your friends”? That’s because, you actually are. Your identity informs the way you act, what is appropriate and what’s not, things you can and can’t say. Even the way you speak, including accents, or nuances of speech. You have no control of this. It’s completely situational, unless of course, you notice it.
I appreciate your essay. The above paragraph raises the question for me 'How chameleon -like ought one to be?'
If you understand you true nature as awareness, then whatever appears within it, is just an expression of it. So, it won’t bother you. If you can be the changeless, then it doesn’t matter what’s playing on the screen of awareness, you know what you are. But, it will make you more consistent. Because your identity is not what is driving your behaviour, but rather, your behaviour becomes an expression of truth.

A DSM might say that there is something wrong with a person whose identity changes radically like this, but, everyone has this aspect to themselves. It’s a sign of a flexible mind, able to change as its environment changes. Like water, taking the form of the container it’s in.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by SteveKlinko »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:41 am
... The system of identity, also is the system which sorts self from other. If it’s seen that there is no self, by implication it is known that there is no other. This is why when the illusion of self is seen through, awareness knows it is the same as every other thing which appears in it, because it is that which appears in it.

This is how one comes to know the “observer IS the observed”, as distinct from “the observer cannot be observed”, which means, everything you look at, is not you, because you are awareness. But awareness IS it’s contents, though this is not most people’s experience. The two distinctions reflect different progressions of experience.
I know Logically that I am my Conscious Light and my Conscious Sound. But these things still seem to be something more that I Have and not things that I Am. I would expect full realization of how it is I Am that Light and I Am that Sound would open up doors to new kinds of understanding of what my Light and Sound actually are. I'm still working on that.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by SteveKlinko »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:36 pm If you understand you true nature as awareness, then whatever appears within it, is just an expression of it. So, it won’t bother you. If you can be the changeless, then it doesn’t matter what’s playing on the screen of awareness, you know what you are. But, it will make you more consistent. Because your identity is not what is driving your behaviour, but rather, your behaviour becomes an expression of truth.

A DSM might say that there is something wrong with a person whose identity changes radically like this, but, everyone has this aspect to themselves. It’s a sign of a flexible mind, able to change as its environment changes. Like water, taking the form of the container it’s in.
I am Aware of my Conscious Experiences so I suppose that Awareness is at least partially what I am but that does not mean Awareness is everything that I Am. But saying that I am Awareness doesn't really solve the problem anyway. I already know I am Conscious of things. Saying I am Awareness just gives a new name to what we all already know. There is a huge Explanatory Gap that still exists in Explaining what it means to be Awareness.

This is why I like to concentrate my studies on a more fundamental aspect of Consciousness. I like to study Conscious Experiences like the experience of Conscious Light and Conscious Sound. But I really like to study Conscious Light and specifically particular Colors and especially the color Red. I think that if we concentrate our study of Consciousness to particular more fundamental aspects like the Experience of Red or Redness, we will eventually be driven to understand what the Conscious Self actually is with relation to something like Redness.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by SteveKlinko »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:36 pm
I just thought of something. I am Volition. Being Aware is good. But without Volition you might as well be nothing.
Dimebag
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:12 am

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

SteveKlinko wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:31 pm
Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:36 pm
I just thought of something. I am Volition. Being Aware is good. But without Volition you might as well be nothing.
I think of it a different way. Action happens through us. We are awareness (or consciousness if you like). Consciousness “drives” action (I.e. sense leads to response, in a reflex like way). But furthermore, sense can lead to concepts, which lead to action. The conceptual space is like a complex system, but it’s not a closed system. On one end it’s open via the senses, on the other end it’s open via action. Action leads to more sensory inputs, which feed back into the system and can change the conceptual contents.

Imagine “you” are the “pathways” which allow all of this to happen. That means “you” aren’t the one producing the action. But “you” are a necessary chain within all of this occurs. This is how I view consciousness. Like an information super highway, the senses and thoughts are the “cars” travelling. You are the necessary space in which this all unfolds.

In some sense “you” produce the action. But in a trivial way, because “you” are merely there, the “observer” of it all, all things pass through you, but you are passively watching.

Now, when an action happens, the person “you” think you are, actually recedes, and action just happens, in a flow like way. We know this happens, because neuroscience has found that when the brain focuses on the external world, especially to produce action, the default mode network, responsible for our sense of self, quietens. So, “you” are constantly flitting in and out of existence. But, notice, there is no discontinuity in experiencing. But, there can be a discontinuity in memory.

What should that tell you about what “you” really are. The sense of being a person takes the back seat when actions happen, and, actions simply happen, with no one doing them. The “observer” is there, watching. Then, when the action ceases, the default mode network fires back up, and literally takes ownership of the action.

All of this requires lots of introspection. But start really paying attention to your experience. Notice the way memory changes during all of this. Memory is connected to the default mode network.

When you are at rest, the default mode network is active, producing the sense of being here. The sense that “I am”. It connects to areas involved in autobiographical memory, conceptual thought, but also rumination and emotion. When it’s active, it starts producing intrusive thoughts, but also is involved in goal direction. It’s like it cues up actions, sends the actions to the motor centres, then, lets it all fly as it takes a back seat and lets you watch it all unfold.

When the DMN (default mode network) is active, awareness (I say you are awareness because initially you are separating yourself from the contents of consciousness, so by calling yourself awareness, you conceptualise a difference between this observer and the observed. This allows you to create an inner distance and start pruning those identifying branches I was referring to. Eventually you are left as this indistinct “entity” which can only be referred to as an observer, witness, watcher etc. This is the sense of “I am” I was referring to on the tree of identity. But this also goes. When it goes, all that’s left is the contents of consciousness. You realise consciousness is its contents, like waves upon the surface of a body of water. So you are both the knowing of consciousness, and it’s contents.

At this stage, just notice that whatever comes and goes in consciousness, “you” don’t come and go, the observer of this.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by SteveKlinko »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:24 pm
In some sense “you” produce the action. But in a trivial way, because “you” are merely there, the “observer” of it all, all things pass through you, but you are passively watching.

Now, when an action happens, the person “you” think you are, actually recedes, and action just happens, in a flow like way. We know this happens, because neuroscience has found that when the brain focuses on the external world, especially to produce action, the default mode network, responsible for our sense of self, quietens. So, “you” are constantly flitting in and out of existence. But, notice, there is no discontinuity in experiencing. But, there can be a discontinuity in memory.

What should that tell you about what “you” really are. The sense of being a person takes the back seat when actions happen, and, actions simply happen, with no one doing them. The “observer” is there, watching. Then, when the action ceases, the default mode network fires back up, and literally takes ownership of the action.
I think you are saying that there is no Volition. That Volition is an Illusion. We just watch our Volition act out without any control by our own Minds. Well, I disagree with this. In a sense, Awareness is information flowing from Physical Mind to Conscious Mind and Volition is information flowing from Conscious Mind back to Physical Mind. I would say Awareness and Volition are two distinct and separate Mind processes. Awareness enables you to know what's going on in the Physical World and Volition lets you make things happen in the Physical World. We don't just passively sit by and watch our Volition, but rather we purposefully direct our Volition out to the Physical World. You could be right but I don't see it.
Dimebag
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:12 am

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

SteveKlinko wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:35 pm
Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:24 pm
In some sense “you” produce the action. But in a trivial way, because “you” are merely there, the “observer” of it all, all things pass through you, but you are passively watching.

Now, when an action happens, the person “you” think you are, actually recedes, and action just happens, in a flow like way. We know this happens, because neuroscience has found that when the brain focuses on the external world, especially to produce action, the default mode network, responsible for our sense of self, quietens. So, “you” are constantly flitting in and out of existence. But, notice, there is no discontinuity in experiencing. But, there can be a discontinuity in memory.

What should that tell you about what “you” really are. The sense of being a person takes the back seat when actions happen, and, actions simply happen, with no one doing them. The “observer” is there, watching. Then, when the action ceases, the default mode network fires back up, and literally takes ownership of the action.
I think you are saying that there is no Volition. That Volition is an Illusion. We just watch our Volition act out without any control by our own Minds. Well, I disagree with this. In a sense, Awareness is information flowing from Physical Mind to Conscious Mind and Volition is information flowing from Conscious Mind back to Physical Mind. I would say Awareness and Volition are two distinct and separate Mind processes. Awareness enables you to know what's going on in the Physical World and Volition lets you make things happen in the Physical World. We don't just passively sit by and watch our Volition, but rather we purposefully direct our Volition out to the Physical World. You could be right but I don't see it.
When awareness is looking as the body, it takes responsibility or ownership of the actions of the body.

Look at it this way. When you perform a rote (well rehearsed task) you feel like you are doing it. But, you don’t have to think about the individual actions right? So, what’s really going on is, a program or muscle memory of the action is “played”. An intention is set to perform a certain action, this may be consciously, or not consciously set. It’s like a signal that’s sent to the motor cortex to do a certain kind of action related to the current environmental scenario. If the action was intentionally set, you feel like you performed the action.

I think the feeling of volition is like a feedback from the motor areas, like a signal saying, I’ve done what you asked, is this what you asked? If it matches the initial request, the initial request is cancelled and you feel as if you performed the action.

Another example is speaking. When you speak you feel like you are speaking, but you don’t consciously choose every word. Thoughts simply appear to you, and when you are “thinking” those thoughts also appear. You identify with your mental habits and thought patterns, because you don’t question what “you” are.

So why would nature pull this prank?

When you watch a movie, you get engrossed in it, but when you notice it’s just a movie, you become less interested in the outcome. The same can happen with a person. If their own mind realises that what they thought they were is not reality, and they are the awareness, it makes the thoughts and actions less interested IN that movie that is one’s life.

Imagine realising the absurdity of going to work everyday to pay for things you don’t need. When you wake up, you also wake up to the “dream” or the absurdity of the goals being chased in your life. Achievement becomes less important, comparison to others, collection of things, all a waste, the goals of the ego, which cares about having a bigger house, a better car, a bigger tv. Capitalism and the ego are like a key and a lock which were made for each other. Capitalism seems like a natural expression of the ego mind taking hold of society.

Obviously this is what people in high places don’t want, people waking up to the wool that’s been pulled over their eyes. Imagine what could happen to economies if people realised they have all been fooled into a cage of consumerism. This is why the US banned psychedelics, they saw the danger to their way of control and enslavement of the population.

This is all a side issue of course, but related and an extension of such a realisation.

I would suggest paying more attention to your own actions, your own thoughts. Where do they come from? They seemingly arise from nowhere. When you feel like “you” create your actions, or thoughts, don’t take this for granted, inspect and inquire into their true source.

Furthermore, read the book “the illusion of conscious will” by Daniel Wenger, it’s a great book outlining the neuroscience which actually supports this.
User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8864
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Cease identifying yourself as the observer to see there is only this immediate pure not-knowing empty observing state.

''Knowledge'' is a conceptual overlay upon that stateless state, it's a personal fiction, an actor in a play within the unchanging real of who you really are.

This knowing is called waking from the dream of I to see there is no I but I

And that I is ONE and the same every thing and NO thing.

I have no relative, except within the dream of separation, in this conception.

.
User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8864
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Image


At best LIFE is a living dead thing. There's nothing much going on, or in it for you.
Belinda
Posts: 4307
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Belinda »

Volition is invariably will-towards. Will is transitive and makes no sense otherwise.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by SteveKlinko »

Dimebag wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:06 pm When awareness is looking as the body, it takes responsibility or ownership of the actions of the body.

Look at it this way. When you perform a rote (well rehearsed task) you feel like you are doing it. But, you don’t have to think about the individual actions right? So, what’s really going on is, a program or muscle memory of the action is “played”. An intention is set to perform a certain action, this may be consciously, or not consciously set. It’s like a signal that’s sent to the motor cortex to do a certain kind of action related to the current environmental scenario. If the action was intentionally set, you feel like you performed the action.

I think the feeling of volition is like a feedback from the motor areas, like a signal saying, I’ve done what you asked, is this what you asked? If it matches the initial request, the initial request is cancelled and you feel as if you performed the action.

Another example is speaking. When you speak you feel like you are speaking, but you don’t consciously choose every word. Thoughts simply appear to you, and when you are “thinking” those thoughts also appear. You identify with your mental habits and thought patterns, because you don’t question what “you” are.

So why would nature pull this prank?
Speaking words is an immensely complicated coordination of Mouth Muscles and Lung Control. It would be virtually impossible to Speak if we had to be Conscious of every Muscle movement that was needed. We all have hundreds, maybe thousands of little Mind Programs that can be executed when our Volition desires some effect. So Nature is not pulling a Prank but rather it is performing a completely necessary automation that serves our Volitional requirements. Think about Walking. You don't have to control every complicated Muscle Movement. All your Volition needs to do is think "I Want To Go Over There" and it is done. Just because there is all this behind the scenes activity going on does not mean there is no such thing as Volition.
Dimebag
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:12 am

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:21 pm
Dimebag wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:06 pm When awareness is looking as the body, it takes responsibility or ownership of the actions of the body.

Look at it this way. When you perform a rote (well rehearsed task) you feel like you are doing it. But, you don’t have to think about the individual actions right? So, what’s really going on is, a program or muscle memory of the action is “played”. An intention is set to perform a certain action, this may be consciously, or not consciously set. It’s like a signal that’s sent to the motor cortex to do a certain kind of action related to the current environmental scenario. If the action was intentionally set, you feel like you performed the action.

I think the feeling of volition is like a feedback from the motor areas, like a signal saying, I’ve done what you asked, is this what you asked? If it matches the initial request, the initial request is cancelled and you feel as if you performed the action.

Another example is speaking. When you speak you feel like you are speaking, but you don’t consciously choose every word. Thoughts simply appear to you, and when you are “thinking” those thoughts also appear. You identify with your mental habits and thought patterns, because you don’t question what “you” are.

So why would nature pull this prank?
Speaking words is an immensely complicated coordination of Mouth Muscles and Lung Control. It would be virtually impossible to Speak if we had to be Conscious of every Muscle movement that was needed. We all have hundreds, maybe thousands of little Mind Programs that can be executed when our Volition desires some effect. So Nature is not pulling a Prank but rather it is performing a completely necessary automation that serves our Volitional requirements. Think about Walking. You don't have to control every complicated Muscle Movement. All your Volition needs to do is think "I Want To Go Over There" and it is done. Just because there is all this behind the scenes activity going on does not mean there is no such thing as Volition.
Yes, I understand this. But what makes you think you choose what you want to do as opposed to choices appearing to and in you?
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by SteveKlinko »

Dimebag wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:59 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:21 pm
Dimebag wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:06 pm When awareness is looking as the body, it takes responsibility or ownership of the actions of the body.

Look at it this way. When you perform a rote (well rehearsed task) you feel like you are doing it. But, you don’t have to think about the individual actions right? So, what’s really going on is, a program or muscle memory of the action is “played”. An intention is set to perform a certain action, this may be consciously, or not consciously set. It’s like a signal that’s sent to the motor cortex to do a certain kind of action related to the current environmental scenario. If the action was intentionally set, you feel like you performed the action.

I think the feeling of volition is like a feedback from the motor areas, like a signal saying, I’ve done what you asked, is this what you asked? If it matches the initial request, the initial request is cancelled and you feel as if you performed the action.

Another example is speaking. When you speak you feel like you are speaking, but you don’t consciously choose every word. Thoughts simply appear to you, and when you are “thinking” those thoughts also appear. You identify with your mental habits and thought patterns, because you don’t question what “you” are.

So why would nature pull this prank?
Speaking words is an immensely complicated coordination of Mouth Muscles and Lung Control. It would be virtually impossible to Speak if we had to be Conscious of every Muscle movement that was needed. We all have hundreds, maybe thousands of little Mind Programs that can be executed when our Volition desires some effect. So Nature is not pulling a Prank but rather it is performing a completely necessary automation that serves our Volitional requirements. Think about Walking. You don't have to control every complicated Muscle Movement. All your Volition needs to do is think "I Want To Go Over There" and it is done. Just because there is all this behind the scenes activity going on does not mean there is no such thing as Volition.
Yes, I understand this. But what makes you think you choose what you want to do as opposed to choices appearing to and in you?
Because this is the way it appears to me. I do not sense that I am just a passive Observer of my Volition. You could be right but I don't see it. Maybe you believe you have given all the possible evidence, for lets call it Zombie Volition, but I am not yet convinced.
User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8864
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:25 pm lets call it Zombie Volition
If you are not convinced, then what word would you like to use instead of 'Zombie' ?
Dimebag
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:12 am

Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:25 pm
Dimebag wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:59 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:21 pm

Speaking words is an immensely complicated coordination of Mouth Muscles and Lung Control. It would be virtually impossible to Speak if we had to be Conscious of every Muscle movement that was needed. We all have hundreds, maybe thousands of little Mind Programs that can be executed when our Volition desires some effect. So Nature is not pulling a Prank but rather it is performing a completely necessary automation that serves our Volitional requirements. Think about Walking. You don't have to control every complicated Muscle Movement. All your Volition needs to do is think "I Want To Go Over There" and it is done. Just because there is all this behind the scenes activity going on does not mean there is no such thing as Volition.
Yes, I understand this. But what makes you think you choose what you want to do as opposed to choices appearing to and in you?
Because this is the way it appears to me. I do not sense that I am just a passive Observer of my Volition. You could be right but I don't see it. Maybe you believe you have given all the possible evidence, for lets call it Zombie Volition, but I am not yet convinced.
I’ll put it another way, volition uses you, awareness. But when the self concept receives volitional signals of intention, it takes those as being produced by it. As I mentioned on the tree of identification, if an action aligns with the goals of the particular branch you are identifying with, it will be perceived as intentional.

But, furthermore, even acts which might not align with the goals of identity will be adopted by it, and the function of the brain known as the narrator (or something similar) which creates stories to justify the self, will make you think you intended to do something you didn’t.

Awareness is essentially a kind of passive resource. It’s like a container which is used to store experiences and allow other parts of the brain to access that information.
Post Reply